Caffeine Overdose Killed South Carolina Teen: Coroner

Tuesday, 16 May, 2017

A SC coroner is warning about the dangers of excessive caffeine consumption after a 16-year-old student was pronounced dead from a caffeine overdose.

16-year-old Davis Allen Cripe collapsed in a classroom in his high school outside Columbia, South Carolina last month, and died in an emergency room.

"Davis was a great kid, and being his parent was a great honor to Heidi [his mother] and me", said the boy's father Sean Cripe said. "And teenagers and students- please stop buying them". He consumed the Diet Mountain Dew "a little time after that" and the energy drink sometime after the soda.

Watts did not specify which energy drinks were consumed, but in general, a 24-ounce energy drink can contain as much as 500 milligrams of caffeine. Richland County coroner Gary Watts spoke at a news conference regarding the teens death noting that drinks that contain excessive caffeine can be unsafe.

Watts says that the teen had no signs of a preexisting, undiagnosed heart issue that would have contributed to his death.

EMS received the call about Davis collapsing in class at 2:28 p.m., Watts said.

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"What we want to do here today is to make people understand that these drinks - this amount of caffeine, how it's ingested, can have dire consequences".

Sean Cripe said he hopes that if nothing else comes out of this, parents and kids will realize the dangers of caffeinated beverages. It was the result of the teen ingesting a lot of caffeine through a large soda, a cafe latte and an energy drink, Watts said.

"We lost Davis from a totally legal substance", Watts said. "I'm telling my friends and family don't drink them".

It's not know what type of energy drink Davis consumed before he passed away.

He also urged people to avoid highly caffeinated drinks.

According to, deaths caused by a person drinking too much career are rare.